I had to wait until the last buttery, crunchy crumbs of National Grilled Cheese Day were licked from plates across America before posting this balsamic beet slaw sandwich. Although there is cheese here, for the most part, this sandwich is clean eating and probably just what you need after yesterday’s fromage fest. It’s also the third installment in my “Not a Sad Desk Sandwich” series. If you’re sick of turkey and cheese and roasted cauliflower tickles your fancy, check out parts 1 and 2.
2 c. grated beets (about ½ lb. of beets, washed and peeled)
2 green onions, sliced thinly on the bias
2 T. balsamic vinegar
3 T. olive oil + more for drizzling
¼ t. Dijon mustard
2 t. honey
salt and pepper
2 balls of fresh mozzarella, sliced into ½ in. slices
2 handfuls of arugula
2 ciabatta rolls
In a medium bowl, combine carrots, beets and green onion and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic, Dijon, honey, a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue whisking and add the olive oil. Pour over the beets and carrots and stir until even coated.
Cut the ciabatta rolls in half, arrange 3-4 slices of mozzarella on each, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil, if desired. Add about ½ c. or more of the beet slaw. Top with arugula.
Although all eyes are turning toward strawberries and asparagus at the market, you don’t want to let Pixie tangerines pass you by. They’re the finale to citrus season and while earlier tangerines offered the zing to brighten up a gray winter, Pixies are low-acidity harbingers of spring, and this year they’re so sweet and lovely, the best way to enjoy them is straight.
April is Ojai Pixie month and to celebrate, the folks at Melissa’s Produce were kind enough to send a handful of Pixies my way. After testing out a couple of cocktail variations that really overpowered the gorgeous sweetness of these little guys, I opted for a Forbidden Rice (also called black rice) salad that would spotlight the fruit whole and in the dressing. The Pixies’ sweetness is balanced by a pinch of Melissa’s mild Hatch Chile powder and by a little green heat from minced jalapeño mixed into the salad.
I actually made this two ways, both with and without the arugula (see photo below), so if you want to do this strictly as a rice side dish, you certainly can. The arugula adds flavor and color and stretches the yield a bit, so adjust it to your taste. The rice also tends to soak up the dressing, so it may seem like a lot. If you’re not eating the salad immediately, you’ll probably need the extra dressing to refresh it.
This salad gets a punch from both a pixie tangerine vinaigrette and individual slices of fruit. The number you need will depend on the season. This year, the pixies aren't so pixie, so you may only need 2. In other years, they're tinier, so you'll need 4-5.
Author: Michelle Jenkins
Recipe type: Salad, Side Dish
Serves: Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main
½ c. forbidden rice (Lotus Foods preferred)
¾ c. water
2-5 pixie tangerines (depending on size)
½ c. diced fresh pineapple
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 T. finely diced red onion
1 T. seeded and minced jalapeno
2 T. minced cilantro
2 handfuls of arugula
salt & pepper
Pixie Tangerine Vinaigrette
2 T. pixie tangerine juice
1 T. lemon juice
½ t. honey
1 small clove garlic, smashed
pinch of Melissa's Produce Hatch Chile powder
¼ c. olive oil
In a medium sauce pan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Water will be mostly absorbed. Spread the rice on a sheet pan to cool.
Slice off the top and bottom of 2-3 of the pixies (depending on size) and slice around the edge to remove the entire rind. Cut into ¼ inch rounds. Juice the remaining 2 pixies.
To make salad, in a large bowl, combine rice, pineapple, radishes, red onion and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over half the vinaigrette and toss the salad until evenly coated. Add the arugula just before serving.
Arrange the salad on a platter and top with sliced pixie tangerines.
Today’s Friday Night Slice was inspired by a pie posted by @baconluv, an Instagram friend who lives down in Portland. A few weeks ago she posted a killer looking cherry pizza from a place called Lucca. I filed it away in my brain and last night, with a handful of cherries chilling out in my refrigerator, it was finally time to have a go at a pizza pie with cherries. This one I’m calling the Neil Diamond (Cherry, Baby). In retrospect, looking at the pictures, maybe I should have called it Purple Rain.
Today, it’s been eight days since I’ve seen my husband. I’ve eaten five dinners on my own, if granola and snack mix on the plane home from Austin count as “dinner.” Cooking what I like, only for myself, usually that’s totally liberating. I get to eat all the things I like and he doesn’t. I see myself leaning against the stove in a crisp white shirt (mmm, very practical), sleeves rolled up, stirring a pot with one hand, contemplating my day while leisurely sipping a glass of red wine. Like in a movie.
With just a few days to go until the Big Meal, we’re keeping things light around here (previous Twinkie post notwithstanding). I spent Sunday morning picking up a few last things, including the turkey, and then the spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen. It’s just not the holidays unless there’s Chex Mix. Last night’s dinner was a relatively simply affair – Sriracha Sloppy Joes and this arugula, radicchio and honeycrisp apple salad.